Ever since Queen of Venus, there's been something about outer-space women wearing pointy hardware on their chests that just brings out the appreciation of cinema in its purest form.
But in Caged Heat 3000, the finest futuristic women-in-cages exploitation movie ever made in Tijuana, Cassandra Leigh does more than just the usual women-in-prison showing off--a little bikini kung fu, nude head-butting, cafeteria-scene food-in-the-face-mashing and spike-through-the-body lesbo-spearing.
Cassandra, the fast-rising, brunette B-movie queen, is strung up by her wrists by an evil torturer who attaches actual headlamps to her...well...headlamps.
She looks like a customized Edsel with a real bad electrical system, writhing around on a giant air-conditioning vent.
What I'm trying to say here is that Caged Heat 3000 may not be the greatest women-in-chains movie, and it may not be the greatest sci-fi story, but we've got more flesh per screen minute than any flick I've seen since Gas Pump Girls.
You might not always agree with director Aaron Osborne's choice of camera angles. For example, 24 breasts in a single shower scene seems a little wasteful.
Then again, we're on a prison planet 1,000 years into the future, where they're so backward that they have the same ridiculous newscasters we have today.
But I quibble.
When it comes to the essentials--strip-searches, catfights, gang brawls, rioting bimbos, and, of course, the necessity to hose down the inmates--Caged Heat 3000 delivers the groceries, upholding the great 25-year tradition of women-behind-bars that began with the original Caged Heat in the early '70s, a movie produced by the same guy, the immortal Roger Corman.
You might be wondering why "3000" is in the name. It could be because of the tag line on the poster: "3,000 Years! 2,000 Women! 1,000 Ways to Punish Them!"
But I think it might just be the 3,000th film in the series. That's the kind of guy Roger is. Take a great idea and run it right straight through to China.
My kinda filmmaker.
Seven dead bodies. Sixty-two breasts. The old silver-wristband torture.
Head-butting. Pervert-guard-lashing. Brain-frying. Laser cattle-prod torture. Multiple catfighting. Back-stabbing. Gratuitous DNA cranial scan. Two excellent gratuitous shower scenes. Gratuitous Ron Jeremy. Five kung fu scenes. Bimbo fu. Drive-in Academy Award nominations for ...
* Zaneta Polard, as the black gangleader, for saying, "Cut her up real slow."
* And Cassandra Leigh, as the bimbo-in-peril, for knowing just exactly what to do with a thong bikini.
Joe Bob says check it out.
Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's frontal-lobe-flogger comes from...Dale R. Worley of Waltham, Mass.:
"Here's one that I've wondered about. I grew up in central Iowa, and the late-afternoon slot on weekdays was filled by a low-budget movie program.
"It wasn't quite down to drive-in quality, but close. And they always had 'Dialing for Dollars.'
"But twice I saw parts of a low-budget Mexican horror movie about giant scorpions that live in caverns.
"Eventually they're killed by having a giant electrified spear fired into their 'throats.'
"The movie was eminently forgettable, but those scorpion-killing scenes were seared into my impressionable young brain. What master created this work?"
A video will be awarded for the correct answer. In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held. Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.
We Have a Winner!
In the Oct. 22 column, Barry Jaeger of Chapel Hill, N.C., wrote:
"There is a movie I recall from visits to the long-gone Midway Drive-In in Durham, N.C.
"It was a black-and-white flick involving a rather butch or somewhat chubby woman (I think blond) who wore these breast cones as a bra (as Madonna would a quarter-century later). She used them to torture and kill her lover-victims.
"It was shown sometime around 1967-1970. My memory is somewhat confused by the alcohol- and drug-induced state I maintained at the time, when I was a graduate student at two local and very famous universities whose basketball teams shall go unnamed."
We received two correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...Stately Wayne Manor of Drexel Hill, Pa.:
"Joe Bob, you'll be proud to know that the flick Barry outlined was distributed by fellow Texan Alfred N. Sack.
"It's called She Mob, and it's heralded in its poster (which featured toplessness!) as the story of 'Butches and Dykes of the Weird World.'
"According to the pressbook, ole Alfred--in the biz 'since 1919'--proudly proclaimed, 'They always come back for a film from Sack.'
"That may be because Sack cut no corners when it came to creating hype for theater owners, offering an incredible 18 ad mats and 30 stills for She Mob.
"Could this be considered 'Sack's appeal'? (Sorry.) "The babe in the bra is Marni Castle as lesbo gal-gang leader Big Shim and rich businesswoman Brenda.
"Talk about complicated: Shim recruits her pal, gigolo Tony (Adam Clyde), who's covertly boffing Brenda, for double duty--first, to service her straight mob members, and second, to be held for a $100,000 ransom from Brenda, who can't go to the cops because it would reveal she's got a boy toy.
"When Shim's personal pet, 40/28/36 Baby, joins in the hetero hijinx with Tony, the gang leader seethes. As the two attempt to split, Shim shotguns Baby while aiming for Tony, who is captured, dressed in Baby's underwear and tortured by the girls.
"Brenda has hired private eye Sweetie East--ya know, like Honey West--who disguises herself as the wealthy woman to handle the ransom drop with Shim, and to save the producers the expense of a process shot with Ms. Castle playing both parts.
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"Sweetie, having vanquished the baddies, is curious to know why Brenda would cough up $100K for Tony.
"But after taking him for a test ride, Sweetie tells her employer that although she'll return the ransom dough, she's keeping the stud as her commission.
"What's it all spell? Too much plot getting in the way."
Copyright 1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales)